Forests of Inverness Ridge

Forests of Inverness Ridge

Sun, May 19
The forests of Inverness Ridge are an epic story unfolding in slow motion. Learn lasting ID skills on this beautiful and inspiring hike.

Meet the arboreal residents of Inverness Ridge. Whether you already recognize them or all you see is “green,” you’ll learn to identify species along with their stories and how they interact with the ecosystem at large.

We’ll gather at the Red Barn Classroom in Bear Valley to learn about plant anatomy and identification using fresh samples. Next, we’ll head to the field to learn about the different tree communities at several locations around Inverness Ridge. We’ll drive to a few stops and hike at a “botanizer’s pace” (that is, slowly). Along the way, you’ll apply new understanding about the distinct interconnections of each tree species with the ecosystem and environment around it.

Trees/ shrubs could include:


–Bishop pine

–Monterey pine

–Monterey cypress

–Red elderberry



–Red alder

–California buckeye

–Red elderberry



–Red alder

–California bay laurel

Topics could include:

–The fascinating dramas of fire strategies of bishop pines and douglas-firs

–How do trees grow and repair themselves?

–What’s the deal with mycorrhizae?

–What are the different strategies for surviving fire (or even depending on fire for survival)?

–How can we infer the fire history of each site?

–How have human activities impacted the vegetation of Inverness Ridge?

–The impacts of introduced diseases on native forests

–How do the different trees reproduce, and how is that going?

–What are landscape disturbances, and are they good or bad?

–All-time greatest hits “What’s that thing in the tree?” and “What’s this thing I found on the ground?”

Naomi Sorbet teaches to spread a passion for plants and biodiversity. Sparked by a childhood visit to Point Reyes, Naomi studied Forestry and Environmental Sciences at UC Berkeley, and is a certified California Naturalist. A frequent hiker and backpacker, she has worked in environmental education, habitat restoration, and sustainable forestry.

Photo Credit: Avani Fachon


-We will be meeting at the Red Barn Classroom in Bear Valley

– Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in

– Refunds available for all classes 7 days in advance of the start date, after 7 days and before 2 days, participants can credit their class for a future date. All requests before 48 hours in advance will be declined. For COVID policy, see below.

– Please follow the parking instructions for the facility used that day

– Please provide an email you check regularly for updates and reminders about your class

– Registration is required online prior to the event in order to maintain class sizes

– Sales end 48 hours before the start date.

– Waitlists are available when the class sells out

What to Bring

Day Pack


Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

Notebook and Pen/Field Journal

Eventbrite Confirmation Email

Binoculars (Optional)

Camera (Optional)

About the PRNSA Field Institute

The PRNSA Field Institute offers hands-on environmental education classes throughout the year that foster enjoyment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Our classes are led by expert instructors, who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. We host a variety of classes about the arts and sciences and have something for everyone. You can reach the Field Institute at (415) 663-1200 x304 or by email at

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Interested in becoming a PRNSA Field Institute volunteer facilitator, or are you an outdoor educator or artist who would like to teach a PRNSA Field Institute class? Send an Email!

For any questions, please email us at

COVID-19 Field Institute Guidelines

Please respect the following COVID-19 procedures:

· Perform a health self-check before coming to class using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus as a guide

· Do not attend class if you are experiencing COVID symptoms, know that you have had a close exposure, or are suffering from any flu-like or respiratory illness

· Contact the Field Institute if you will not be able to attend due to COVID. You may be eligible to receive a full or partial refund

· Participants exhibiting signs of respiratory illness may be asked to leave class

· Masks are optional at your discretion

· Please bring your own food and water

All guidelines are subject to change pursuant to State or County Health order updates.

Thank you for your cooperation in following these guidelines to help keep everyone safe.